During his interview with MTV, Rob said he would be interested in becoming a superhero on screen, but refused to say which one he might consider:
"I shouldn't even say this stuff, 'cause all the little fanboys will be like, 'No! I'm gonna shoot him!'" he laughed.
Now Deadline could have the answer, only Rob wouldn't really be the good guy in Akira:
There are two major roles, and I'm told that for Tetsuo, Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy have been given the new script. For the role of Kaneda, the script has been given to Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix. The two leads are expected to come from that group of actors.
Deadline has more on the storyline, and some interesting thoughts on who is probably not gonna end up with the lead roles. Read the rest at their site. HitFix adds its two cents, and reports the film could start production in August.
Moviehole has always been very supportive of Rob, and added this little side note for "fanboys" in their article:
Deadline says the lead is expected to come from that group, so not a lot of competition there… good chance Pattinson will end up in the movie. Just accept it.
So could you see Rob as 'Tetsuo?' here's more on the character according to Wikipedia:
Tetsuo Shima (島 鉄雄, Shima Tetsuo?)
Kaneda's best friend, a member of Kaneda's gang, and eventually Kaneda's nemesis. He is involved in an accident at the very beginning of the story, which causes him to display immense psychic powers. He is soon recruited by the Colonel and given the designation #41. However, Tetsuo's mental instability increases with the manifestation of his powers, which ultimately drives him insane and shatters his friendship with Kaneda. Later in the story he becomes Akira's second-in-command, before he begins to lose control of his powers. Tetsuo is the main antagonist (and possible anti-hero) of Akira. Tetsuo is named after a Tetsujin 28 character, Professor Shikishima's son, Tetsuo Shikishima.
Check out the trailer for the animated version of Akira, to kinda see what we're in for if Rob takes/gets the role. The Guardian adds a few more details about the potential plot, Slashfilm shares where it thinks the plot will go, and Collider gives some great background on the main players. Guess it's time to freshen up on our knowledge of Manga.. because it looks like we may need it!